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Trump Invites Putin This Fall; More Administration Officials At Odd With Trump; Tiny Balkan Nation Defends Itself Amid Trump Comments; NATO's Newest Member Defends Its Role In Alliance; U.N. Police Identify Two Suspects In Nerve Agent Attack; Ortega Clashes With Protesters A Painful Battle; Russia Releases Videos of New Super Weapons; Trump under Fire for Helsinki Performance; Russian Woman Charged as Covert Agent of Kremlin; Did a Fortune in Gold Go Down with the Ship?; Detractors Accused of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Aired 1- 2a ET
Aired July 20, 2018 - 01:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[01:00:00] CYRIL VANIER, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Defying critics once again, Donald Trump invites Vladimir Putin to the White House even as intelligence officials warn that Russia is trying to interfere with U.S. politics. Meanwhile in Britain, a breakthrough in the investigation into who used a nerve agent to poison a former double agent. Plus this story could be worth its weight in gold literally. The incredible discovery of a 100-year-old sunken warship and the mystery of the treasure it could hold. Live from the CNN center here in Atlanta, thank you for joining us I'm Cyril Vanier.
So we're following a number of developments from the White House at this hour and here is the most surprising. Four days after their controversial summit Donald Trump has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to Washington. The planning is already underway. We know only that the trip should happen this fall. Before or after the midterm elections in November, we don't know that yet. This came as a surprise to many including the U.S. Director of National Intelligence. Dan Coats was at a security conference when he found out. Here's his reaction.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREA MITCHELL, ANCHOR, NBC NEWS: We have some breaking news, the White House has announced on Twitter that Vladimir Putin is coming to the White House in the fall.
COATS: Say that again.
MITCHELL: Vladimir Putin come --
COATS: Did I hear -- did I hear you --
MITCHELL: Yes, yes.
COATS: That's going to be special.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: And there was another about-face from the White House on Thursday. Remember the during Monday's news conference in Helsinki President Trump extolled the "incredible offer" from President Putin for Russia to assist in the Mueller investigation provided the U.S. turned over 11 people for questioning by Russia. That included former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul. On Wednesday, the White House said it was considering that idea, on Thursday it said no, it wasn't. That came as the U.S. Senate voted 98 to 0 to oppose sending U.S. officials to be questioned by Russia. That also comes as more administration officials are speaking up and contradicting the president. Kaitlan Collins reports from the White House.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: The divide in the Trump administration growing deeper today as President Trump's changing narratives about what happened in his meeting with Vladimir Putin clashed with what his own officials are saying about Russian interference in the 2016 election. Following days of changing statements from Trump, his hand-picked FBI Director Christopher Wray making his view clear.
CHRISTOPHER WRAY, DIRECTOR, FBI: He's got his view, he's expressed his view, I can tell you what my view is. The Intelligence Community's assessment has not changed.
COLLINS: And Department of Homeland Security Chief Kirstjen Nielsen leaving no doubt.
KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, SECRETARY, HOMELAND SECURITY: I don't think there's any question in Intel Community or at DHS that Russians attempted to infiltrate and interfere with our electoral system.
COLLINS: Trump now insisting he holds Vladimir Putin personally responsible.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I let him know we can't have this. We're not going to have it and that's the way it's going to be.
COLLINS: A statement completely at odds with how he acted when he was standing right next to the Russian leader.
TRUMP: They said they think it's Russia. I have President Putin. He just said it's not Russia.
COLLINS: Despite the bipartisan outrage following his press conference in Helsinki, Trump telling CBS News --
TRUMP: I don't know what the fuss is all about.
COLLINS: And refusing to label Putin a liar.
TRUMP: I don't want to get into whether or not he's lying. I can only say that I do have confidence in our intelligence agencies as currently --
COLLINS: But once again blaming the press writing on Twitter "the fake news media wants so badly to see a major confrontation with Russia. They hate the fact that I'll probably have a good relationship with Putin." It's a statement strikingly similar to what Vladimir Putin himself said today.
VLADIMIR PUTIN, PRESIDENT, RUSSIA (through translator): We see that that there are forces in the United States that are prepared to ultimately sacrifice Russia U.S. relations, to sacrifice them for their ambitions in the course of an internal political battle.
COLLINS: Time Magazine releasing its new cover today morphing the faces of the two leaders. Kaitlan Collins, CNN the White House.
VANIER: Joining me now Democratic Strategist and Political Consultant Michael Trujillo and Conservative Commentator and Radio Host Joe Messina. Thank you, gentlemen, to both of you so much for coming on again. Joe, does Donald Trump need to prepare better next time around or are you hoping for more of the same the second time?
[01:05:02] JOE MESSINA, RADIO HOST: Well, you may pass out, I'd say yes. You know, I like them go through some notes and some bullet points as a direction you're going to go in and what can you expect. But you know, you're not always successful by following the script. Sometimes you have to go off script and I'm not concerned. I don't appreciate the way he said some of the things he did I think he should clarify as he did as he has but yes, I like to see u prepare a little bit more.
VANIER: Did the first summit and will the second summit help make America great again?
MESSINA: Yes. I mean, look, you've got to start a relationship by showing up. You've got to start a relationship by talking. I mean, do you remember when Reagan walked out of the summit meetings that he was having with the Soviet Union? My God, we were -- we were we were getting ready for nuclear war. It didn't happen and the Soviet Union isn't around anymore.
VANIER: Michael, about this summit and the second summit and the need for the second summit, are you willing to give the U.S. President the benefit of the doubt that perhaps he started a conversation with Vladimir Putin the first when we met him on Monday that needs to be continued? Perhaps there are diplomatic deals that are that are emerging and need to be confirmed and hence there's a need for a second summit.
MICHAEL TRUJILLO, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: And wouldn't it have been nice if one of our intelligence officials were in the room with Putin and the President when all this was happening? Instead, you have a translator and I think Senator Ernst from Iowa said that that translator should actually be talking to the Intelligence Community so they know exactly the deal they got. We got reporters today --
VANIER: Well, you know that sought that down right? You know, in fact, it was brought up as a political point that Congress said it's not serious. We can't set that precedent that having a president's own interpreter then divulged everything that was said in a closed- door meeting.
TRUJILLO: I understand that but that's just the other point. I mean, you have this unprecedented one-on-one meeting where you have Putin talking to the media about in Russia about the deals that he's made with President Trump and you have our intelligence folks currently trying to figure out what the heck kind of deal was made in that room and I think that's what's the most disturbing thing about this. Look, I'm all for conversations, I'm all for you know, talking to our adversaries, talking to our friends but to have this happen either right before the midterms or right after the midterms ensures that this white house wants this to be the one thing we talked about going up into our elections and as someone works in campaigns I don't know that that's the smartest idea for Republicans. So to that, I'm like two thumbs up keep talking about it.
VANIER: Well, Michael, so actually will get to that specific point in just a second but first the timing, Michael. It's true that the timings really odd. I mean, having Vladimir Putin over in the full that means sometimes before or after but around the midterm election, the very election that the U.S. Intelligence Community says Russia is still trying to hack into or destabilize in some weight. I mean, that a little odd isn't it?
TRUJILLO: It's very odd, but you know like --
VANIER: Sorry, I meant to question that -- I meant to direct that question to J0e. I beg your pardon.
MESSINA: Well it is odd but why aren't we talking about China also. I mean, you don't think China isn't trying to hack into our systems? We just accused North Korea of hacking into our systems a few months ago. They're all trying to hack into our systems. Why are we singling out Russia with all this? Because you think it's going to go further? I'm still waiting for the indictments that pull together --
VANIER: Maybe the President is -- has equivocated on the issue of Russia many times?
MESSINA: Equivocate -- equivocated in what way? I mean, he just again -- we were just talking --
VANIER: A year and half on his presidency, he still finds it hard to ask the question number one, do you think that Russia meddled in the election? Number two, do you think that you hold Vladimir Putin responsible? I realize they're going to tell me that he answered those questions yesterday but you know he gave two or three different answers during the course of the week and we're a year and a half into the presidency, that's called equivocating.
MESSINA: Well, I think -- I think what happens as he gets information he's able to respond to it. Again, as I said before, I can't get inside the man's head. I don't think anybody can. I think when you sit here and you say this is what he was thinking, this is what he's going to do, I don't think -- I don't think it's truthful, frankly.
VANIER: So I want to check out some poll numbers because Michael was bringing up and bringing up this very interesting question about what political impact this is going to have. And at the end of the day, every new Trump presidency were left with this question. What does it change on the political landscape? Is there political price to say -- pay for Donald Trump? So here's the question CBS News poll July 17th to 18th. Do you approve or disapprove of how Trump handle this summit with Putin? First of all look at the left column, and gentlemen I don't know if you can see those numbers but overall only a third of Americans actually approve of how he handled the meeting, a majority disapprove. Now, of course, if you look at the GOP Republicans, vastly different numbers almost 70 percent approve of how he handled it. So Michael, do you think there's going to be a political price to pay for Donald Trump?
TRUJILLO: Oh absolutely. You can't have a president act this erratic especially when you have Republican Congress members and Republican Senators calling out the leader of their own party on a daily basis especially for such a monumental mistake he's been making on the foreign relations plane. So yes, it's going to have a major impact. Now, are there other car wrecks that are --
[01:10:11] VANIER: You know, other controversy --
TRUJILLO: Well, that's like -- that's what I'm -- that's my point. Are there other car wrecks that are going to occur in this Trump administration between now and November that are going to distract us? Absolutely. But and so we actually vote in November, we won't know what the impact of all of these car wrecks one by one that's been occurring by -- that's been given to us by our own president.
VANIER: Joe your sense, is their political price to pay for this?
MESSINA: Listen, I'm so tired of hearing about the political price and how bad it hurts Trump what have you. The Republican is going to take more houses and -- more seats in the Senate. We're going to keep the Congress, we're going to have more power overall because there is no message. You're running after Trump -- every time there's a misstep if you're -- if something goes wrong, you're running after Trump-like when you throw bread on the floor and the pigeons come running for it because it's got to be something there. It's just amazing to me. I think all the negativities turning the American people off and I think that that again the Republicans will retain power and get more power. No, I don't think the political fallout is going to be what you believe it to be.
VANIER: Well, me personally I'm just asking questions. I know the results of the midterms.
MESSINA: I'm sorry. The generic you.
VANIER: I love the generic me. Look, isn't this the central problem though because you say that we and the generic me we just run after Trump but isn't this a self-created Trump problem that he just can't separate two issues which are one Russian election meddling which every U.S. intelligence agency agrees has happened and two this accusation of collusion by the Trump campaign which is unproven. He seems to equate the two isn't that at the root of the problem?
MESSINA: No, but the intelligence agencies and the other party has pulled that together. It's all one big deal for them. The reasons the Russians got involved or are supposedly hacked our systems, they get involved in our elections is to make sure Trump became president and the Trump campaign had something to do with that. That's the narrative of mainstream media. That's something narrative gist of Trump and that's what he's pushing me back at.
VANIER: Joe -- sorry, begging pardon. Michael, I want to read a tweet by President Trump. The summit with Russia was a great success except with the real enemy of the people, the fake news media. I look forward to our second meeting. So I guess Joe might agree with some of that. How do you feel about that, Michael?
TRUJILLO: Well, look, you know, he's going to have the second meeting. He's going to say what he's going to say about it and you know, we are at the behest of our president. You know, he's going to have this meeting with Putin. We're probably you know, not going to have any of the details of what came out of the first meeting between now and then and whenever details that do come out, unfortunately, it seems like we're learning about them through the Russian sponsored state media.
And I think that is you know one of the bigger issues that the American people are dealing with. Why are we learning about what our own president is doing and what our own president is communicating with when it comes to Russia from Russia state news. And that I think is the question we're trying to figure out. I think that's what the intelligence community is looking for. I think that's why you know, you had these congress members and senators asked about talking to the translator. I mean, we just want to know, are there things we should be looking out for, are there things we should be preparing for and we have no idea.
VANIER: Well, you know, Michael, just a thought. The answer is kind of in your question. Perhaps the reason we're only finding about it through the Russians is because there weren't many people in the rooms and we know Donald Trump is afraid of leaks and we know there have been plenty of leaks in his administration and maybe that's why you didn't want other people in the room. Just a thought. Michael Trujillo, Joe Messina, thank you for joining us.
TRUJILLO: Thank you.
VANIER: Montenegro says it is proud of its peaceful politics and friendship building skills. The tiny Balkan nation is defending itself and its NATO membership after the U.S. President called it a country full of very aggressive people. CNN's Nick Paton Walsh went to find out whether locals see themselves that way. Spoiler alert, they don't.
NICK PATON WALSH, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Welcome to the frontline and the (INAUDIBLE) of the west as we know it menacing militants Montenegro.
TRUMP: They're very aggressive people. They may get aggressive and congratulations you're in World War III.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I will not say anything but this is really stupid.
WALSH: He said -- he said Montenegro was aggressive. Maybe he makes a mistake.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, I don't know. Do I look like an aggressive man?
WALSH: I don't know. You tell me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not. I think not.
WALSH: Where are you going now, to start World War III?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
WALSH: Where are you going instead?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Drink coffee.
[01:15:00] WALSH: Yet, that's the drums of war you're hearing there. There made no mistake, nobody's giggling here about Russian ambitions to increase its influence in the Balkans and control this deepwater port.
It's even accused of trying to kill the prime minister of orchestrating a coup in October 2016. Two alleged Russian agents sought by Interpol warrants still for the sophisticated plot.
Well, it was here investigators say that dozens of radicals are supposed to gather spurred on by Russian intelligence and see some state buildings including this, the Parliament paralyzing the government ruining the elections.
And doing their best to make sure that NATO wanted little to do in this chaos with this tiny aspiring member.
But Montenegro joins NATO all the same just 10 days after the Donald Trump go perhaps the closest he ever had to the country but he pushed this prime minister out of the way at a Brussels NATO summit. And its minuscule army of 1500, less than one U.S. Army Brigade will soon partially be on the Russian border, part of a NATO exercise on the Baltics.
But now, the U.S. commander-in-chief has said he won't necessarily come to their defense they feel safe, still. Was the fight to get NATO's Article Five collective security really worth it?
SRDJAN DARMANOVIC, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, MONTENEGRO: We have no intentions whatsoever to start World War III. We are too small for that. But we really believe that Article Five is unconditional and rock-solid.
WALSH: That is not exactly what the Russians wanted to hear.
DARMANOVIC: Maybe, maybe, it might be music for their ears. But still, I believe that we have not per se.
WALSH: But here, the most powerful man in the world offhand meetings bring not just laughter but a real concrete consequence. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, Podgorica, Montenegro.
VANIER: Next up, a major break in the near-fatal poisoning of an ex- Russian spy and his daughter. British police think they know who did it.
Plus, Nicaragua's President is defiant as he lashes out -- lashes out a protesters who Daniel Ortega says is really behind the unrest, when we come back.
VANIER: Criminal investigators in the U.K. now believe that they know who poisoned a former Russian spy and his daughter last March using a Soviet-era nerve agents.
The apparent breakthrough in the case came from old-fashioned police work with a big assist from cutting-edge technology. We get the details now from CNN's Nic Robertson.
[01:20:06] NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: A break in the mysterious poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter. After months and months of waiting, high-tech answers to the lingering question, "Who did it?"
The police ground zero in the Skripal's poisoning. Their house, for months on it, remains a cordoned-off crime scene under active investigation, and a potential danger to the public.
The new breakthrough may help speed investigations using facial recognition technology and intercepted coded Russian messages to Moscow. Police have determined that the pair left soon after the attack and that neither of them was known to British intelligence authorities clean skins.
Just days after the poisoning, police at Heathrow briefly impounded a Russian Aeroflot flight to Moscow. But a big breakthrough in the case has been elusive.
Two weeks ago, two more people became contaminated by the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok. Believed to have been thrown away following the attack on the Skripals.
One of the victims Dawn Sturges, who sources tell CNN dabbed Novichok agent on her skin after discovering it in a discarded perfume bottle, dying a few days later.
Turning the poisoning investigation into a murder investigation adding urgency to police efforts.
KIER PRITCHARD, CHIEF CONSTABLE, WILTSHIRE POLICE: As you're aware, last night, the counterterrorism policing network confirmed that they will be taking primacy for this investigation.
ROBERTSON: In Salisbury, several locations remain cordoned off. Like this restaurant where the Skripal's ate shortly before collapsing. Police say, they've scrutinized several thousand hours of security video and recovered hundreds of objects.
But what's really slowing them up, they say is the dangerous and complex nature of this investigation.
Despite the new revelations, Russia continues to deny British government accusations they are responsible for the death and the poisonings.
ALEXANDER YAKOVENKO, AMBASSADOR OF RUSSIA TO THE UNITED KINGDOM: This is the reporting to me. Unfortunately, we don't have official statements from the British. I'm sorry. I want to hear that from Scotland Yard or from the foreign office.
ROBERTSON: The Skripals are now out of hospital being protected at a secret location where they are recovering from their poisoning ordeal.
Charlie Rowley, the other victim hospitalized a couple of weeks ago is getting better slowly. Diplomatic relations with Russia, however, only seem to be deteriorating. Nic Robertson, CNN, Salisbury, England.
VANIER: A key anniversary in Nicaragua is being overshadowed by a bloody government crackdown. Crowds gathered in the capital to mark 39 years since the end of the Somoza government.
This comes as security forces put down a rebellion in the town just south of Managua. At the rally, President Daniel Ortega, called clashes with anti-government protesters a painful battle, those were his words. He accuses opponents of having North American funding and "weapons of war". For more, I'm joined from Miami by a leader with the opposition, Juan Sebastian Chamorro, of the Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy.
First of all, could I have you addressed the accusations by the president that you are somehow being funded, armed, and manipulated by foreign sources?
JUAN SEBASTIAN CHAMORRO, CIVIC ALLIANCE FOR JUSTICE AND DEMOCRACY: Well, thank you very much, Cyril, for having me in the program. To start with, this is obviously, a false accusation.
What is happening in Nicaragua is a civil revolt all over the country. It came very spontaneously from all walks of life in the -- in the country. People from all sectors of society, peasants, business leaders, merchants, university students.
So, it is completely false that this is the result of articulated system that is behind this protests. This is the usual argument that we find in totalitarian regimes from the right, from the left, in the history of Latin America.
When there is a protest in society, they usually blame someone and they want to blame an international funding but this is completely false.
VANIER: In indeed, we have heard this often, many times before. What is the -- what is the opposition trying to -- realistically trying to achieve with these protests.
CHAMORRO: Well, after the protests on April 19th, this is -- this has been like a three-month process now. The Catholic Church came and asked for different members of society to be part of a national dialogue.
Invited by the government itself, who wanted to start a national dialogue and try to find a solution to this social and economic political crisis. Which is now becoming a humanitarian crisis, 300 people dead already in three months.
So, we came as this dialogue table trying to find a solution to this situation. And now, we are being blamed along with the -- with the good bishops in today's celebration of July 19th.
President Ortega accused the bishops of being part of the coup d'etat process. So, is -- this an extremely serious accusations to the -- to the cardinal and the bishops, members of the -- of the Catholic Church in Nicaragua.
The reason why he's attacking the bishop is obviously because this national dialogue is actually asking for repression to stop and to bring democracy back into the country.
[01:26:03] VANIER: Is there still a dialogue or has it been interrupted? CHAMORRO: It's on hold, I would say. The Bishops had maintained their position that the only solution to this crisis is precisely the negotiation or the dialogue table. There is no other options.
Unfortunately, in the history of my country, Civil War has been the option -- the preferred option for the last 200 years. So, we're trying to not to get into that situation, and be part of this national dialogue along with the -- with the -- with the bishops and try to find a peaceful democratic solution.
What is happening though, is that the presidential --
VANIER: What do you say to the people who were fighting in that town south of the capital who have put up the strongest resistance, what are you saying to them? Are you telling them to keep up the fight? Because if so, you know that there will likely be more loss of life, or is there -- is there a limit?
Is there an extent to a degree to which you will just accept not to go out into the streets, and not to protest in order to avoid loss of life?
CHAMORRO: Well, first of all, I would like to make the comment that these people are not fighting, these people are just protesting, as you -- as you alluded, as you mentioned.
These people are just protesting to the abuses of the -- of the Nicaraguan government, and they are putting barricades in the streets of Masaya.
In this case, but it is not the only case. They have been putting barricades because these paramilitary people have come to the cities in a clean-up operation and try to wipe out and root out any protesters by the use of brutal force.
So, we're not talking about a national fight here. We're talking about protester, peaceful protesters who are being fired at with live ammunition, and AK-47 is a heavy weapon.
So, we are as a Civic Alliance for Justice and Democracy, we are saying that it is extremely important for the people of Nicaragua to maintain the peaceful demonstrations in the streets of Managua and elsewhere to put pressure on the regime, to bring democracy back into Nicaragua, to build a democratic society.
And especially, the second objective is to bring justice to those responsible for the crimes that have been committed in the last three months. As I said, 300 people dead.
CHAMORRO: More than 2000 people are wounded.
VANIER: Yes, several hundred lives lost in Nicaragua since the beginning of this unrest. Juan Sebastian Chamorro, thanks again for joining us on the show. We'll continue to follow this story. Thank you.
CHAMORRO: Thank you very much.
VANIER: And while the White House is still cleaning up the fallout from the Trump-Putin summit, Russia's defense military is releasing new videos of cutting-edge weapons. We'll have more on that when we come.
Plus, a closer look at why President Putin is specifically targeting this American-born financier for Russian interrogation.
 CYRIL VANIER, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to the CNN NEWSROOM.
I'm Cyril Vanier.
U.S. President Donald Trump has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to Washington. The White House says preparations are already under way for a trip this fall. It's not known if it will be before or after the congressional elections in November. This comes as Trump is being widely criticized after the first Trump-Putin summit on Monday.
British investigators have identified two suspects in the near-fatal poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter. A source tells CNN the break came after police cross checked months of surveillance video with facial recognition software. Investigators believe the suspects left the U.K. immediately after the attack and sent a coded message to Moscow.
Nicaragua is marking 39 years since the fall of the Somoza dictatorship with more bloodshed. At a rally President Daniel Ortega called clashes with protesters that saw hundred killed a painful battle. He accuses opponents of getting North American funding.
Plus another top Trump administration official is taking aim at Russia's election interference. Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein told a security forum the Justice Department would aggressively investigate and prosecute those responsible and take other steps to expose the threat and counteract it. He warned of Russia's continuing threat to U.S. democracy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROD ROSENSTEIN, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL: Russian effort to influence the 2016 presidential campaign is just one tree in a growing forest, focusing merely on a single election misses the point. As Director Coats made clear, these actions are persistent. They are pervasive. They are meant to undermine democracy on a daily basis.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: Meantime, Russia's defense ministry has released new videos of cutting edge weaponry being tested -- weapons that Mr. Putin boasted about months ago. Our Matthew Chance reports.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, just days after that controversial U.S.-Russia summit in Helsinki, the Russian defense ministry has broadcast a series of videos showing a new generation of nuclear and conventional weapons being tested.
The highly-*produced videos posted on the defense ministry Web site and social media pages show several of the new weapons, like this hypersonic missile being launched by a Russian warplane which were unveiled by the Russian president Vladimir Putin in one of his most bellicose speeches made earlier this year.
Putin said that the new weapons were invincible, able to avoid U.S. missile shields and strike any part of the globe. Russian defense officials say they're also preparing to test a new nuclear-powered cruise missile called the Burevestnik which they say has unlimited range.
There is skepticism though in Washington, where officials are casting doubt over whether Russia, despite all these boasts from Moscow, really has increased its nuclear capability significantly.
Matthew Chance, CNN -- Moscow.
VANIER: Meanwhile, at the White House more backtracking. At the Helsinki summit, President Trump seemed pretty excited about what he called an incredible offer. The U.S. would let American citizens be interrogated by Russia in exchange for access to Russians accused of election interference. The response was outright shock and condemnation. And now the White House says it's not going to happen.
Alex Marquardt has more.
[01:35:00] ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Another day, another about-face from the White House.
Today, responding to the avalanche of outrage over President Trump considering the request from President Vladimir Putin for Russian interrogators to question a list of Americans including former ambassador to Moscow Michael McFaul.
"It is a proposal that was made in sincerity by President Putin," press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. But President Trump disagrees with it.
MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Yes. That's not going to happen.
MARQUARDT: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo today also ruling out giving Russia access to McFaul and the others. POMPEO: With respect to the particular question, the administration is not going to send -- force Americans to travel to Russia to be interrogated by Vladimir Putin and his team.
MARQUARDT: Putin's proposal made in his one-on-one meeting with Trump in Helsinki was to allow Robert Mueller's team to interview the 12 Russians indicted for cyber attacks in the 2016 election. In exchange, Russian investigators would get to question McFaul and 11 others for crimes Russia accuses them of -- a deal that Trump at first found intriguing.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And what he did is an incredible offer. He offered to have the people working on the case come and work with their investigators with respect to the 12 people. I think that's an incredible offer.
MARQUARDT: The White House saying Wednesday it was being considered.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: There was some conversation about it. But there wasn't a commitment made on behalf of the United States. And the President will work with his team and we'll let you know if there's an announcement on that front.
MARQUARDT: McFaul, at the center of the firestorm was stunned.
MICHAEL MCFAUL, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA: My government, I hope will step up today and categorically swat this back and when I mean my government, I mean President of the United States of America.
MARQUARDT: Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle angry the proposal was even being discussed.
SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: The concept of letting American citizens being investigated for crimes that are just -- I think are jokes is absurd. And I don't believe there's one member -- I challenge you to find one member of the House and the Senate that believes this is a good idea.
SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: No president -- no president should have the power to gift-wrap American citizens, let alone former ambassadors to our known adversaries.
MARQUARDT: Congress, as you heard right there, found this proposal so outrageous that the Senate voted 98-0 against making current and former U.S. officials available for interrogation by the Russians.
After the vote Ambassador McFaul thanked the Senate in a tweet saying, "Bipartisanship is not dead yet." And he also took a swipe at the White House which had called Putin's offer sincere. McFaul said quote, "I don't consider it sincerity to falsely accuse U.S. government officials of being criminals."
Alex Marquardt, CNN -- Washington.
(END VIDEOTAPE) VANIER: One of the men Moscow wanted to question is American-born financier Bill Browder, a prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin. Browder told CNN if the U.S. turned him over to Russia, it would amount to his death sentence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL BROWDER, AMERICAN-BORN FINANCIER: The situation is that Vladimir Putin wanted Donald Trump to hand me over to Vladimir Putin so they could kill me. And it took him three days to decide that maybe he wouldn't do that. So hardly a victory, but having said that I never actually believed that when push came to shove and when the system got into gear that it would ever happen.
And in fact, today's vote in the Senate, 98-0 reflects the real view of what anybody in Washington thinks about this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: CNN legal analyst Areva Martin joins me now from Los Angeles. Areva -- when Donald Trump initially expressed enthusiasm for Vladimir Putin's proposed quid pro quo, did he actually have the power, the authority to send anybody to Russia for questioning?
AREVA MARTIN, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: He never had the power, Cyril, to you know execute on this so-called sincere proposal as the White House is framing it. I think the problem here is Donald Trump continues to see Russia as he calls it, as a competitor or Putin as a competitor whereas the United States, all of our security experts, all of the top officials in the United States rightfully see Russia as an adversary.
So the whole notion of sending U.S. citizens to Russia to be interrogated by its adversary was absurd from the beginning. It's like sending terrorists into an antiterrorist meeting.
So Donald Trump never had the authority. There was never any precedent for it. And there's -- it was always an absurd idea.
And thankfully, the Senate voted today symbolically, a non-binding resolution but a very important resolution to, you know, dismiss any thought that these U.S. citizens would be handed over to Russian government for interrogation.
And we heard Browder say if he's handed over to the Russians it's a death sentence for him.
VANIER: Right. So non-binding resolution from the summit (SIC) -- so it's just a political message, right, to the White House?
[01:40:04] MARTIN: Absolutely. But it's a strong message. And I think we're starting to see the tide turn. Although we didn't see Republican senators and congressmen come out as forcefully as I think many of us would have liked to have seen them come out after that press conference that was held on Monday.
But I think this symbolic vote in the Senate today and some of the senators that have spoken out against Donald Trump's meeting with Putin, his legitimatizing of Putin starts the signal that at least, you know, government officials in this country are not going to sit idly by as Donald Trump continues this bromance, as you can call it, with Putin.
VANIER: All right.
Well, it seems the White House entertained the idea for what -- three days.
MARTIN: Three days.
VANIER: But then just moments before Congress sent that unanimous -- that very clear political message with that unanimous vote, the White House walked back from entertaining that idea.
Areva Martin, CNN legal analyst -- thank you very much.
MARTIN: Thanks -- Cyril.
VANIER: After the break, incredible images from the sea floor show a sunken vessel and a fortune in gold might have gone down with the ship more than a century ago.
We'll tell you about that.
VANIER: A violent video has emerged which forced the government of French President Emmanuel Macron to go into damage control -- the man wearing a helmet on this video dragging and beating a protester at a May Day rally in Paris.
His name is Alexandre Benalla -- he's a top security aide to Mr. Macron. And he was seen wearing a police arm band on the video. However he is not -- he is not a police officer.
He was supposed to be observing the protests. Benalla is under investigation and he was suspended for 15 days. Officials say he's also barred from the president's traveling security detail now.
Mr. Macron is taking heat because his office reportedly did not inform police about this incident.
New details are emerging of the young Russian woman who is now charged with acting as a covert agent to the Kremlin. Maria Butina's involvement in American politics, especially among conservative Republicans reads like a spy novel and she made it look incredibly easy.
CNN's Sara Murray has the latest.
SARA MURRAY, CNN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The young Russian gun lover twice applied for a visa to attend the National Rifle Association's glitzy annual meeting. Twice Maria Butina says she was denied twice.
[01:45:02] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maria -- thank you very much.
MURRAY: Then the NRA came to Moscow. Butina hosted a gun conference and charmed NRA board member David Keane and his associate, political operative Paul Erickson. By April 2014, visa in hand, Butina was on her way to Indianapolis for the NRA's 2014 annual meeting.
There she snapped a pic with NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre and began blazing a path in U.S. political circles in what authorities allege was a covert Russian operation.
Her relationship with Erickson quickly turned romantic. Whether he was duped by his young lover who used him for political connection or wittingly lured into a spy operation to influence U.S. politics ahead of the 2016 election is unclear. An unlikely match, Erickson is nearly twice Butina's age.
PAUL ERICKSON, POLITICAL OPERATIVE: If you want power, if you want influence -- you see a candidate that you like, show up and work for them. Drop everything.
MURRAY: After growing up in South Dakota and graduating from Yale, he sought to make a name for himself in GOP politics. Along the way he crossed paths with now disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and worked as a spokesman for John Wayne Bobbitt, the Virginia man whose wife cut off his penis in the 1990s.
Erickson also launched investment schemes and faced lawsuits because of them. He's currently under investigation for fraud by the U.S. attorney's office in South Dakota.
Butina's upbringing is different.
MARIA BUTINA, ALLEGED RUSSIAN COVERT AGENT (through translator): My story is simple. My father is a hunter. I was born in Siberia. For such places like Siberia or forests of Russia this is a question of survival. Everyone has a gun.
MURRAY: After graduating from a local university and dabbling in the furniture business, she set off to Moscow to pursue political ambitions. There she launched her gun rights group and linked up with prominent Russian Alexander Torshin, who became a staunch ally.
By fall 2014 she was trading e-mails with her lover, Erickson about how to obtain long-term visas. Her Russian handlers wanted her to have a more prominent U.S. foothold, prosecutors said.
By the summer of 2016, Butina was enrolled in graduate school at American University on a student visa -- all part of her cover story, according to prosecutors. By then Butina had already become a fixture at exclusive NRA events, accompanied Torshin to the 2016 annual prayer breakfast and worked with Torshin and Erickson to try to establish back channel communications between candidate Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin. Erickson's involvement in the alleged Russian operation is murky. Authorities found a note in his handwriting that read "how to respond to FSB offer of employment". But it's unclear if the Russian intelligence offer was for him, Butina or something else entirely.
Recently she grew despondent, lamenting it wasn't safe for her to return to Russia. She graduated from American university in May, 2018. But a friend didn't spot her at any commencement celebration. With school behind her, she was planning a move to Sioux City with Erickson, a man prosecutors say she expressed disdain for living with. A day after buying moving boxes, she was arrested.
(on camera) Now U.S. authorities did not explicitly name Paul Erickson in the indictments surrounding Maria Butin, nor has he been charged with a crime in relation to the Butina case. He did not respond to CNN's request for comment.
Sara Murray, CNN -- Washington.
VANIER: A salvage company claims to have found a century-old shipwreck in the waters between South Korea and Japan. The question is, are the stories saying that it carried a cargo of gold true?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're not going to believe it. I have a name. I have a name. It's in Russian. I can't read it.
GRAPHICS: A sunken Russian warship with a potential golden fortune on board has been found, a South Korean company has said.
The Shinil Group said they have rediscovered the 5,800-ton Dmitri Donskoii.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe I am approaching the stern. I'm right at the stern mast post. The mast is missing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have visual on anchor.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of the eight-inch gun and is lying three feet in from the starboard side.
GRAPHICS: The Russian armored cruiser was scuttled in 1905 during the Russo-Japanese war.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ships wheel, ships wheel. Over.
GRAPHICS: It is believed to have had a large amount of gold coins on board, part of the Russian war fund.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I'm forward of the breach by probably 20 feet or so. And there's a small deck gun.
GRAPHICS: Shinil Group said it believes the ship and its contents are worth 1 billion won ($884,000).
The team said part of the wreckage was inscribed with the Cyrillic name "Donskoii".
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not sure. Oh man, this wreck is just -- it's really wrecked.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VANIER: So just how much gold there is, if there is any, won't be known until the ship is raised.
[01:49:57] Oppressive heat and humidity are pushing the residents of Japan to their limit only days after devastating floods swamped the region.
Meteorologist Derek Van Dam joins us now. Derek -- what's going on?
DEREK VAN DAM, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Yes, that's right -- Cyril. In fact about 110 million Japanese residents feeling the effects of this long duration heat wave that is impacting some of the more populated islands of Japan including Kyushu and Honshu. That's roughly 90 percent of the population of Japan, by the way.
Just take Tokyo for instance, we've had a long-duration heat wave that lasted over three weeks. We've seen temperatures well above average there, in fact, above 30 degrees for 23 days in consecutive order.
So it's incredible to see how the body reacts to this, especially comparing where these people come from, in a very hot and humid environment to that of dryer heats like the desert southwest of the United States, for instance.
What does our body do to react to heat and an increase in our internal temperature? Well, we sweat. That's our body's mechanism to deal with heat.
But your heat and sweating on your body is only as effective as if you can evaporate that water off of the skin of -- the surface of your skin.
So think about this. If you're in a dry desert, let's say, and you have extremely high temperature, you body starts to sweat. Well, if we have a light breeze that will evaporate that sweat off of your body, causing a cooling effect.
But if you have a humid environment like in Japan, our body is not going to be successful at taking that and evaporating that water right off your skin. So we are not going to be able to cool ourselves as effectively.
So unfortunately with the impact of the Pacific Ocean over Japan, well, you can see that that's why we have the heat indices value. That's when we factor in the actual temperature and the humidity within the atmosphere and that gives us what it actually feels like on your skin as you step outside. So these are actual temperatures right now. In Tokyo, it is 32 degrees. But we factor in the humid environment and it feels like 41 on your skip. So people in Tokyo right now really not having any relief from this oppressive heat that's lasted for several, several days.
And of course, that is very dangerous. We've already had several fatalities from this. You can see Tokyo's weather forecast only gets hotter before it gets slightly cooler as we head into the early parts of next week. So we have to maintain at least another seven days of temperature well above average in Tokyo alone -- Cyril.
VANIER: All right. Derek Van Dam who's been at the CNN Weather Center following this story over the last few days. Thank you very much for the update, my friend. Thanks.
Now, if you're uneasy about the Russia allegations and angry White House rhetoric, it might be time to see a doctor. When we come back, the illness that's sweeping the U.S. -- Trump derangement syndrome.
VANIER: Some medical news before we end the show. President Trump accuses his critics of being afflicted by a new illness. He calls it Trump Derangement Syndrome or TDS.
Jeanne Moos has a look at the symptoms and at least one possible cure.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The summit pushed Trump critics over the edge in their disdain for the President's behavior --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Slobbering servility.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Supine puppy.
MOOS: Such disdain has triggered a counterattack.
SENATOR RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Trump derangement syndrome has officially come to the Senate.
MOOS: Well, actually, it's been everywhere else.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Full-blown Trump derangement syndrome?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump derangement syndrome has become a thing.
[01:55:03] JIMMY KIMMELL, TALK SHOW HOST: Now, I've never heard of Trump derangement syndrome. I'm not a doctor but --
MOOS: You don't need a degree in psychiatry to make the diagnosis.
FAREED ZACHARIA, CNN HOST: Trump derangement syndrome -- hatred of Donald Trump so intense that it impairs people's judgment.
MOOS: The President himself is sitting TDS. On "The View" Judge Jeanine Pirro pointed at Whoopi saying she had it.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, TALK SHOW HOST: Did you just point to me?
JUDGE JEANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS HOST: Yes.
GOLDBERG: Listen, I don't have Trump derangement. You know, what's horrible?
PIRRO: What's horrible?
GOLDBERG: When the President of the United States whips up people --
MOOS: It took a commercial break to calm her down.
GOLDBERG: I very rarely lose my cool but I also don't like being accused of being hysterical.
MOOS: TDS is nothing new. Fifteen years ago someone coined the term Bush derangement syndrome which was followed by Obama derangement syndrome. And now --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She's got a little bit of that Trump derangement syndrome. I'm hoping that one of these comedians will come up with an anti-anxiety medication for this (INAUDIBLE). Just take one tablet a day, maybe a suppository and take it easy.
MOOS: But who needs a suppository when Jimmy Kimmel has a cure.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you feel like the world is out to get you? You may be suffering from Trump derangement syndrome. Ask your doctor about Rezine. Rezine can get you back to living the life you used to love.
MOOS: Maybe critics have to resign themselves to feeling deranged.
Jeanne Moos --
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: It's called Obama derangement syndrome.
MOOS: -- CNN --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They suffer from what we affectionately call Bush derangement syndrome.
PAUL: Trump derangement syndrome.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Make yourself great again -- Rezine.
MOOS: -- New York.
VANIER: Ok. Just one more thing before I let you go.
When a former NASA engineer builds a water toy, things can get really serious. Designer Mark Rober (ph) needs both hands to shoot the world's largest water pistol.
Here it is. It uses high-pressure nitrogen to fire water at more than 430 kilometers per hour -- that's right, 430 kilometers per hour. Check the sausage.
It can blow through glass, fruit, hot dogs like butter. The giant super soaker earned Rober his second Guinness world record. The first was the world's largest NERF gun. Maybe he has too much time on his hands.
All right. That's it from us. Thank you very much.
We're done with me, but good news -- you've got George Howell and Natalie Allen up next.